Vodafone is honoured to have received special recognition at this year's Māori Language Awards run by the Māori Language Commission.
Corporate and business supporters of the revitalisation of Te Reo Māori dominated the 14th Māori Language awards attended by more than 400 people at Te Papa.
Disney (working with the Matewa Trust for the Māori language Moana); Fletcher Construction (for Kāpiti roading signage); Vodafone and Google (for developing better pronunication of Google Maps); and Stuff for its introduction of tohutō (macrons) across all its platforms, were among the winners.
Vodafone’s Diversity & Inclusion Lead, Kirstin Te Wao of Te Arawa and Tainui descent accepted the award on behalf of Vodafone.
“We’re truly humbled to receive this recognition from Te Taura Whiri i te Reo Maori and even more so by the overwhelmingly positive response from Aotearoa. Say it Tika is a great example of how global companies can collaborate for the good of the countries, and indigenous communities in which they operate,” Kirstin said.
Māori Language Commission Chief Executive Ngahiwi Apanui said the awards showed that high levels of expertise can be achieved in different ways.
“They also illustrate the dedication and enthusiasm of so many people to the revitalisation of our indigenous language. While we are celebrating the fact that in-family of te reo Māori is happening again in places where this stopped years ago, we should also celebrate the wonderful achievements of learners, especially those who become fluent from a basis of no Māori language.
“It is also amazing to see the strength and range of corporate support for revitalisation. There’s an increasing sense that te reo Māori is good for identifying your business as committed to New Zealand, authentic and customer focussed. It’s alo has a strong use in team building and bringing insights from another cultural perspective for business success," Ngahiwi said.
Vodafone and Google's Say it Tika programme, was praised for involving tens of thousands of people to improve pronunciation on Google Maps.
"The Māori language is euphonic: it matters to speakers what it sounds like. It matters a lot. Google and Vodafone deserve our thanks for recognising this important cultural and linguistic fact and taking action to recognise the status and improve the use of the Māori language," Ngahiwi added.